Guide to the Grief Journey

By Irina Jordan

This post shares the highlights of the "A Guide to the Grief Journey" online video available at The Grief Toolbox.

  • You're flesh frozen when struck with grief. You continue to function but emotions are cut off.
  • When grieving, rules change, things don't make sense. Be here, be in this world. Be who you're right now. Be numb.
  • When grieving, be prepared for people to say pretty stupid things. They mean well just don't know what to say .
  • Grief can come out as different emotions from anger to sadness.
  • Anger is often a huge part when grieving, it's a secondary emotion to frustration. Anger can be productive and it paved the way to Amber Alert and MADD.
  • Grief doesn't have an end - it's unique and everyone grieves differently.
  • Find resources and stay flexible. Be a captain of your grief ship.
  • Small things can be overwhelming and set you off when you're grieving.
  • People are uncomfortable with your grieving pain, don't get angry, look at their intent and underlying compassion.
  • Acknowledge how you really feel when grieving, be honest with yourself.
  • Staying busy is just postponing grief.
  • Talk to others who experienced grief and take the first step to move forward and honor your loved ones.
  • Find an expert in grief and loss for support. A grief therapist can normalize grieving experience.
  • Join online grief support communities: Open to Hope and Compassionate Friends.
  • Drink water, breath and take walks to take care of yourself when grieving.
  • People reach for things (drugs, food, alcohol) that will distract them from their pain when they grieve.
  • Conscious and steady nostril breathing reduces panic and anxiety and calms down the mind.
  • Simple and easy foods to digest are recommended for those who grieve.
  • Believe in something bigger than yourself to help yourself through grieving (doesn't have to be an organized religion).
  • We honor loved ones by the way we live our lives. We become their voice. Become an advocate for other grievers.
  • Have empathy for others. Don't sweat small stuff. Live your life at a slower pace. Cherish things.
  • Grief is like an artichoke - layering of losses. Peel away layers and there's a heart.
  • Take care of yourself in any way you can. Find support. Don't isolate yourself. Forget about a watch.
  • Don't apologize for having good moments when grieving. Don't feel guilty. Celebrate.
  • Take some time every day and do something for you. Be still.
  • Whatever you're drawn to, do it – it will help you. Grief is not a linear journey. Don't beat yourself up.